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Nuclear, the clean energy future?

Nuclear power is the use of nuclear reactions that release nuclear energy to generate heat, which most frequently is then used in steam turbines to produce electricity in a nuclear power station. These reactions are happening right now and have been for a while, 70 years to be exact. 1980 was the big year with 46 reactors commissioned to be built. Building rapidly declined after that due to growing safety concerns.  

 

The U.S. nuclear industry has since proved that nuclear energy is a safe and reliable power source. One hundred and four nuclear reactors currently operate in 31 states, generating about 19 percent of electricity in the U.S., including more than 70 percent of the nation’s carbon-free electricity. The total U.S. nuclear production amounts to more than 800 billion kilowatt-hours as the third-largest electrical energy source behind coal and gas.

 

Although the U.S. does not produce the greatest percentage of its own energy through nuclear power compared to other countries, it still boasts the highest percentage of worldwide nuclear power, as well as the most operating nuclear reactors.  Accounting for about 30 percent of nuclear power generation worldwide, the U.S. is a solid leader in the industry.

 

It is also a solid leader in being a “clean” energy source.  The only energy source that has lower carbon emissions is onshore wind power. You may ask how is this? Well carbon emissions is measured by the life cycle of the carbon emitted from the energy source. That is measured in Kilowatt Hours.

 

For example coal has a carbon life cycle of around 820 kWh, while a rooftop solar cell has a cycle of only 41 kWh. 41 seems low compared to 820 right? What if I told you Nuclear energy’s cycle was 12 kWh. That is right, 12.

 

Now even though uranium is not renewable, that 12 kWh carbon cycle is pretty impressive. For me that puts it up there for one of the cleanest energies. Honestly I do not think it is being utilized enough. It has become much safer throughout the years and has a proven track record. I feel that it is further along than any other alternative energy source. It has been put to commercial use for longer.

 

The question is will the US go in that direction? It will be expensive to build more and maintain the ones we have. But is it worth it? Is it worth not having miles and miles of panels and turbines? Is it worth the safety concerns?

We want to hear from you! Do you think Nuclear energy has a future in America?

 

Comments

"For example coal has a carbon life cycle of around 820 kWh, while a rooftop solar cell has a cycle of only 41 kWh. 41 seems low compared to 820 right? What if I told you Nuclear energy’s cycle was 12 kWh. That is right, 12." --- It's not measured in kilowatt hours. It's measured in grams of CO2 equivalent per kilowatt hour. _________________________________________________________________________________________________ A lot of depends on your assumptions. For instance, how long do you assume that wind turbines will last? If wind turbines are replaced with newer turbines before the end of their assumed life then the estimates will be wrong. For nuclear, it depends a lot on which type of enrichment you choose to assume that everyone uses. If you assume that enrichment happens with gaseous diffusion (not used anymore) then you will come out with a different number than if you used modern enrichment techniques.

Thank you, Emily Carey on shalemart.com, for your article explaining the benefits of nuclear energy. Fossil fuels and nuclear power should work together to improve the lives of all people around the world, rather than working against each other. We do that on our two websites: go-nuclear.org and efn-usa.org. Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy - USA is one of the few "environmental" organizations that promotes fossil fuels. We do it for two reasons: a) man-made CO2 is not a proven serious scientific problem that "other environmentalists" make it out to be and b) fossil fuels are clearly the quickest, best, and least expensive way to help people in poorer and less stable countries. We have posted your article with link to the original on both of our websites. Go to the websites and use the search box on top with keyword "carey" We have a Monthly Newsletter that is sent to 3,900 and growing number of professionals in nuclear energy, nuclear medicine, fossil fuels, students, teachers, leaders in industry and government in 113 countries. It focuses on bite size sections of the websites which contain over 525 articles, PowerPoint Presentations, and videos by over 300 authors from around the world. Everyone can go to these websites and use either the SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWSLETTER box at the top right or the CONTACT US box at the bottom left of every page to add their name and e-mail to receive our MONTHLY NEWSLETTER or they can send this information directly to me; John Shanahan john.shanahan@go-nuclear.org We look forward to sharing knowledge of each other's websites. Thanks. John Shanahan President, Go Nuclear, Inc. website: go-nuclear.org President, Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy - USA, website: efn-usa.org

"Building rapidly declined after that due to growing safety concerns." One friggin' Hollywood scare movie (The China Syndrome) and our entire energy future goes straight into the toilet. What's amazing is that everyone didn't react the same way to "Day After Tomorrow". Oh, wait -- they did! In my opinion, this country deserves what nightmare it gets.

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